Charlotte Tilbury Stars-In-Your-Eyes Palette

I’m a massive fan of Charlotte Tilbury, particularly her eyeshadow palettes – and the words ‘limited edition’ always have me clicking on the checkout button so fast I’m sure I look like a woman possessed. Last year I bought the Instant Eye Palette as soon as it launched, which was a gorgeous array of nudes, browns, peaches and silvers which you could use to create looks called Day Eye, Desk Eye, Date Eye, and Disco Eye. Continue reading

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You’ll Wanna Be In My Gang: The Craft Gin Club

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Can you get more British than a good gin and tonic? Popular in medieval times, and supposedly the liquor behind the saying ‘Dutch courage’, this drink was produced in vast quantities after the government deregulated production in the first half of the 18th century. This so-called Mother’s Ruin was a popular drink amongst the poor, working classes, but its reputation improved somewhat when it was added to tonic water and served in the British colonies. This was to mask the bitter taste of quinine, an anti-malarial compound – and quinine is still used as a flavouring in tonic today.

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If you have a similar enthusiasm for historical methods of preventing malaria, you’ll be thrilled to know you can now join a club for like-minded individuals. The Craft Gin Club is a subscription service (costing £40), delivering new and exciting small batch liquors monthly. You can subscribe for deliveries monthly, bimonthly, or quartley – each delivery costs £40, but if you use the code GINPALS10 and then mention my blog, you can get £10 off!

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As well as a bottle of gin from some of the finest independent distillers around, you also get a copy of Ginned magazine, and some amazing free gifts. This month it ws a bottle of Cornish Orchards’ Elderflower presse, Buttermilk fudge and Cornish seasalt along with a bottle of Southwestern Distillery’s Tarquin’s Rosemary and Thyme gin.

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Opening the Craft Gin Club delivery is an exciting prospect – not the least because Ginned! is a fascinating read, full of new gin cocktail recipes, interviews, and info about the producers of this month’s goodies. There are even savoury recipes, like this month’s roast leg of lamb flatbreads, as well as reviews of gin joints and a crossword! There’s a whole lot packed into a 24 page magazine, and I take my hat off to the club for such an interesting publication!

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One of the recipes I tried was the lethal Death in the Afternoon, which mixed 50ml of Tarquin’s Rosemary and Thyme gin with 10ml Elderflower presse and 5ml lemon juice, served with strawberries and topped up with Prosecco. A heady mixture – make sure your afternoon schedule is clear before imbibing!

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I also tried this gin simply with some ice and tonic – it’s a deliciously savoury gin thanks to the notes of rosemary and thyme, but there’s also a fantastically bright citrus edge and some florals lurking in there too. This bottle went down an absolute treat, and the Craft Gin Club is some serious value for money thanks to the extra goodies you get! (Even more so if you use that GINPALS10 code!) I can’t wait to see what’s coming next month!

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Head on over to www.craftginclub.co.uk to find out more, and to sign up for the club! Monthly deliveries of artisan, small batch gins? Yes, please!

The Craft Gin Club offered me this box for review. All opinions are my own!

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Bag ‘n’ Shoes: Next Sludge Boots and Zatchels vs Jacky Tsai Skulls Saddle Bag

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I thought it was about time I did another bag and shoes post – especially considering that the bag in question is a limited edition design, only available for another week or so! I bought this bag late last year from Zatchels – it’s part of a collaboration with the Chinese artist Jacky Tsai, and the range consists of satchels and saddle bags with three designs on; the iconic floral skulls design, the psychedelic virus pattern, and the purple and lime green petrol motif. As soon as I saw the saddle bag with the floral skull design, I knew I had to add it to my collection!

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As you can see, the leather is printed with a beautiful pattern of skulls crafted out of silver flowers. Here’s what Zatchels says about the design: “Instinctively recognizable, Jacky Tsai’s skulls print designs take inspiration from one of his most well-known pieces of art, the iconic Floral Skull design he created for Alexander McQueen. The placement and positioning of the skulls show a 360 degree view of this unique piece of art. A deep black background sets off the metallic skull shapes.”

Alexander McQueen = right up my alley! You can purchase this design for a limited time at Zatchels’ site here for £85, along with the other designs here (satchels are £165).

The boots I’ve been wearing pretty much all winter – they’re no longer available from Next, but you can purchase a similar design here. Simple, basic, flat heeled boots are the perfect addition to my winter wardrobe, so this was a definite no-brainer purchase for me!

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What do you think – will you be picking up one of these beauties whilst they’re still available?

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Burberry Body Gold Collection AW 2013: Trench Kiss No. 216

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You guys know I’m a bit of a Burberry girl at the moment, so when I saw the new festive collection (complete with gold packaging) as part of Burberry’s new beauty range for Christmas, I pounced right away! I bought Trench Kiss (which is available as a lip mist all year round) and Soft Gold as a nail varnish. I’m saving the nail varnish post for tomorrow, but first, here’s the lovely packaging it comes with!

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Love the postcard and the beautiful little gold card attached to the bag! I’m overflowing with Burberry bags at the moment, because the lip mist and nail varnish came in separate ones. Who’s complaining? Not me!

Anyway, Trench Kiss is a very neutral, nude colour, with a gentle, moisturizing finish that’s very sheer. It’s £22.50 and available from the site here in a regular silver edition, and here in festive gold. I am so impressed with the finish on Burberry’s lip covers and lip mists. They slide on like a dream, and feel gorgeous on your lips.

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Check out the rest of the Burberry beauty Christmas range here, and come back tomorrow for my nail varnish post! (And check out my post on other A/W 2013 Burberry nail polish here!)

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Bag ‘n’ Shoes: London Sole Leopard Love Heart Flats and Hobbs Lanesley Bag

Here’s the first reveal of shoes from the epic French Sole factory shop visit I had last week! As you may remember, I came back with a massive haul, so I’m pretty booked up with my plans for these posts for a month and a half! I also hinted that they were very festive in their design, but I have to say, these are probably the least festive of the batch, which is why I decided to wear them first…

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I almost didn’t buy these ones, but I couldn’t leave the shop without them in the end! These are from French/London Sole’s spring/summer 2012 collection, specifically, their Valentine’s range. I remember seeing them at the time and thinking they were really pretty. The material is patent olive green leather – which is another reason I busted them out this week – it’s been raining almost every day!

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One of my favourite pairs of French Sole shoes are my classic leopard ponyhair flats with red trim, so I had to get another leopard print pair – I would have loved to have had FS on the heart (or even my own initials!) but LS is good enough for me, especially when they were just £25! I paired the shoes with my trusty black Lanesley bag from Hobbs, which is a versatile satchel style bag with a Mulberry-esque postman’s lock, top handle, and cross body strap. It’s my nod to the now sold-out Polly Push Lock Mulberry satchel – which of course, I would love to own, but alas are now rare as hen’s teeth and considerably more expensive!

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Ah, monograms! I’d love to have a pair of personalised, monogrammed smoking slippers from French Sole! I’m thinking MS G would look pretty cool! What do you think of monogrammed shoes, or items with logos on them? Dig them, or find them too flashy?

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French Sole Olympic Henriettas

Do you remember in my French Sole Warehouse post, when I mentioned those amazing Olympic Henriettas that I stalked for months? Well, here they are! Untitled

Aren’t they gorgeous?

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They have a beautifully decorated interior too – check out that amazing flag design! (London Sole is the company’s name in the US, in case you were confused!)

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I also love this red gosgrain ribbon detailing at the back. I love everything about my shoes – especially the fact that I got to actually wear them to the Olympics this summer! Here’s a photo for proof, in which it looks like I’m trying to kick everyone in the head, which is just an added bonus…

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Although this exact design is not available any more, you can buy Union Flag Henriettas with navy trim at French Sole’s website for £130. Sigh… Is it wrong to have two pairs of Union flag ballet flats?

Clarins Odyssey Eye Palette

One of the hottest beauty products for 2012 is the Clarins Odyssey Eye Palette, four beautiful shades to see you through the festive season! As soon as I saw it, I had to bag one, because I’m a huge fan of blending gold eyeshadow in with a smokey eye during winter, to glam up a classic look for parties. Usually I achieve this with Pixi’s Nude Shade Wardrobe and a tap of MAC golden lemon in the corner of my eye, but I was eager to try something new!

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I had originally wanted to get this from my local John Lewis, but when I walked up to the counter, the Clarins’ lady shook her head ruefully at my enquiry as to the stock – seems like this is a real best-seller!

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It’s not hard to see why – these shades are MADE for the winter party season!

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Adding a touch of glamour and luxury, the palette comes in a pretty little red velvet pouch.

UntitledAlthough I was expecting the case to be metal, it was actually plastic – I guess it’s more practical in the long run and less prone to scratching or denting… The palette itself features a beautiful etched design on gold. Truly a beautiful Christmas item.

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Inside you get four pretty shades – three fairly standard for the ‘smokey eye’ look, and one rather special gold one! There are also two applicators.

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That gold is so complex and beautiful! Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

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I’d heard this had great staying power, but I was still surprised at how smoothly this went on, and how well it stuck to my skin! The shimmer is fantastic, and I cannot wait to try out the smokey eye look with gold featured on the card that came with the set.
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The palette is still available online at Clarins for £30 – but get in there quickly, because this seems to be selling like hotcakes! As an added bonus, if you order from Clarins’ site, you get to pick some free samples with your order – perfect!